Author(s): Binitha Raj RV*, Mahadevan S, Rosamma MP, Rajesh KS
Introduction: Shilajit (Black bitumen: Asphaltum punjabinum) is an important herbo-mineral drug in Ayurvedic system of medicine. It is a blackish brown exudate which oozes out from sedimentary mountain rocks. Due to its high cost, increased demand and difficulty in getting pure forms, adulteration of shilajit is common in raw drug industry. So quality control parameters are necessary to scrutinize genuine shilajit. Objectives: The present work aims to develop simple quality control parameters of shilajit in terms of physico- chemical properties and HPTLC (High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography) fingerprinting. Materials & Methods: Microscopic evaluation, flame test and organoleptic evaluation of shilajit were done to confirm the identity. Physico-chemical parameters such as specific gravity, pH, refractive index, loss on drying, total ash, acid-insoluble ash, solubility, fluorescence analysis and qualitative analysis were carried out. Moreover, HPTLC fingerprint was developed using Camag HPTLC instrument and detected its presence in a pharmaceutical preparation. Results: Physico-chemical parameters of shilajit were established and HPTLC chromatogram was developed with hydro-alcoholic extract of shilajit using the mobile phase Toluene: Ethyl acetate. This HPTLC method was also proved successful in confirming its presence in Chandraprabha gudika. Conclusion: The present study on identification, physico-chemical evaluation and HPTLC fingerprinting of shilajit provides useful information regarding quality control parameters and identifying parameters to substantiate and authenticate the drug and could be used for comparison of market samples to ensure its genuineness. A simple, specific and accurate HPTLC method was validated for its fingerprint analysis and detection in a pharmaceutical preparation, Chandraprabha gudika.